In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with the Governor’s continued directives and the orders of the R.I. Supreme Court, the R.I. Workers’ Compensation Court has taken the following actions through May 17, 2020.
- Effective April 20, 2020, the court will hear its pretrial calendar either telephonically or by video conference. If the parties cannot agree to have their matter heard remotely, they shall advise the court and the matter shall be continued to a date in June (provided that the court is operational). The court will also hear contested cases if agreed to by the parties.
- The court will continue to hear remotely other matters previously scheduled including but not limited to initial hearings, motions, and status conferences.
- The court will allow the filing of stipulations, consent decrees, and final decrees disposing of cases.
- The court will continue to hear commutations and denials and dismissals remotely, either telephonically or by video conference. In lieu of the employee’s in-person testimony, parties shall file an employee affidavit or interrogatories.
- Settlements will be heard on the record with a stenographer present. Employees or employers may also take part in the telephonic or video hearing.
- The chief judge will be available to hear urgent matters.
- All trials shall be continued to a date after May 17, 2020.
- All appellate arguments shall be continued to a date after May 17, 2020.
- By agreement of the parties, the court will hear mediations remotely.
- All court Impartial Medical Exams (IMEs) are suspended through May 7, 2020.
- Public access to all court proceedings shall be available by telephone or other means.
A copy of the court order is available here.